Wednesday, February 28, 2007

1st Annual Frigid Moose Drewl Winter Mountain Bike Race

Yep, you read that right. This weekend there will be a winter race put on by a guy with the Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers (who co-exist and work peacefully together promoting self-propelled activities, trail protection and restoration) - maybe the Wilderness Society should look to the for examples) and Anchorage's Frigid Bits crew. There will be beginner's and advanced courses.

IF I am home this weekend, I think I will participate in the beginner's race. We sort of had plans to go into Anchorage for the Fur Rondy activities. Truth be told, I would rather do the race than go to Anchorage.

WaaaaHOOOOOO! It's FUN in the Valley!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Don't Invade My Solitude: Mountain Biking Clashes With the Purpose of Wilderness

I recently picked up the Feb 2007 edition of Backpacker Magazine. I was enjoying it until I came across "The Big Question: Do Mountain Bikes Belong In Wilderness Areas?"

It is a "yes" and "no" opinion column. The "Yes" opinion was written by Mark Eller, Communications Manager of the IMBA. The "No" opinion was written by Dan Smuts, Deputy Regional Director (CA/NV), The Wilderness Society.

Here is Dan Smuts "NO" opinion:
Wilderness not only protects wildlife habitat, water and air, it also creates space for hiking, climbing and horseback riding. The Wilderness Act's ban on "mechanical transport" clearly includes mountain bikes. Because these bikes can cover many miles in an afternoon, they increase contact among users and reduce solitude - a key aspect of wilderness. Mountain bikers who claim they don't negatively impact trails are missing the point. A bike barreling down a trail at 20 mph not only endangers hikers, but clashes with the purpose of wilderness. However, when drafting proposals, we are always willing to talk with mountain bikers to create conversation plans that support all sides."

Sooo....Mr. Smuts' issue doesn't appear to be about trail destruction (studies show that biking has similar impact in the wilderness as hiking and is less destructive than horses)'s all about solitude.

According to Mr. Smuts, mountain bikers clash with the purpose of wilderness. bikes can cover many miles in an afternoon and increase contact with other people out in the wilderness which reduces the purpose of the wilderness is solitude.

Lets say I go on a hiking trip, walking through the wilderness, enjoying the wild solitude. I come up on someone who is walking slower than I am. I can see them ahead of me, hear them talking, breathing or whatever. Because I see and hear them, they are infringing upon my solitude. It takes me 5 or 10 minutes to actually catch up with the other hikers, I say "excuse me, coming through", they move to the side of the trail, I move to the other side, I pass them and it takes another 5 or 10 minutes before I am out of their sight. So for 10-20 minutes, we have invaded each others solitude, but it's ok, because we are all using our feet.

I continue on my journey, blissful again in the wild solitude. Suddenly I hear "on your right" or "excuse me, passing through", I turn around, see a person on a bike coming, I step to the side of the trail, the biker goes to the other side of the trail, he passes me and is out of my sight within 2 or 3 minutes...but now I am pissed off, my solitude has been invaded and ruined...the purpose of the wilderness has been destroyed....for 3 minutes I had to endure the presence of someone else in my wild solitude...and this time it is not ok....because...they were on 2 wheels.

I think Mark Eller of the IMBA and the "Yes" opinion has it correct when he states "We belive opposition to bikes in the wilderness is a matter of prejudice: Some hikes don't like seeing us on the trails."

(And no, I don't think it is cool for ANY biker, trail runner, faster hiker, crosscountry skier, equesterian to blast down a trail and scare or endanger other trail users. That's just bad manners, which are NOT exclusive to mountain bikers. )

Can't we just all get along and settle this issue so we can focus on REALLY important things like a bald Brittney Spears, Anna Nicole and crying judges???

**image created by THE WARD-O-MATIC

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Me on the Zing

As suggested, here are pictures of me on the new set up. I took the pics myself using the timer while actually pedaling, these are the best shots of almost full leg extension.

Any suggestions on positioning and seat hight are welcome. This roadie stuff is a different kind of ride. In the top picture, it looks like my heal is lifted up, but I think that is due to the camera angle.

I rode for an hour, my wrist and shoulder felt better, hands MUCH better with this set up than the previous.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Auction/Bike Drawing

Tour de France cyclist Tyler Hamilton is have an on-line auction to raise funds for the Tyler Hamilton Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting health and personal empowerment through cycling for people with Multiple Sclerosis.
A quote from Tyler:

My greatest motivation has come from my friends within the MS community. Through my work with the MS International Federation, the Heuga Center, the National MS Society, and my own foundation I have found inspiration among an amazing, fearless and undaunted group of cyclists. I'm always reminding people about the power of the bike, and its capacity to help you cope, heal and persevere. And I guess you could say that over the last two years I've been practicing what I've been preaching.

There are some nice cycling related goodies! There also in a drawing for a custom built Independant Fabrications bike which is limited to the first 200 people who donate $. Pretty good odds!

Check it out HERE

Back in Black

Yep, back and better than ever!

Bike Guy came through once again but I could tell it was a mental battle for him, old racers never die.

He replaced the fork with one that didn't have the steerer tube cut down, so he could stack it higher. Then he add about a 35 degree (I think) stem and Felt carbon and alloy bar. He kept the same levers (105's). He was gritting his teeth the entire time I was there, muttering warnings to duck when I go under bridges because I'm up so high I might hit my head, I have lost all aerodynamics, so on and so on. He's still a racer at heart...and I never was nor will be. We can always UNDO what he just did and move it all lower if I ever feel the need.

I had him wrap the bars with black cork instead of the white it came with...The Zing looks pretty cool with the the black tape and carbon bar.

The bar is a bit higher but the main difference is the bar is moved back by about an inch or even 1 1/2 inches. Before this new set-up, I did a rough measurement using my arm, elbow against the front of the seat and there was about a 2 to 2 1/2 inch gap from my finger tips to the bar/stem junction. Now there in only about a 1 inch gap.

It's on the trainer and I took my 1st ride. Much better for my right shoulder and left wrist, old injuries that never seem to go away.

Speaking of "the shoulder", it's been just short of 1 year since the rebuild. Pain and grinding is WAY less but not totally gone and I don't need to make sure I have a few dozen Advil with me at all times. It doesn't move the way it used to yet, doesn't' like the arms in front position very well but I'm still working on it. This road bike is using very different muscles than my mountain bike and commuter hybrid-roadie bike.

Here is a picture of the Zing: before and after, the true color is in the 1st picture.
And post-surgery shoulder, just to remind me where I was about a year ago.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Biking in Halifax

I immediately thought of
Steve when I saw this.

Thanks to's Chad Nikolz Quick Shot cycling humor

I think this is true in Halifax :)

Keep safe, Steve!

Fresh Snow

It's snowing again, which is fine. Alot of the snow has settled and melted and turns ugly. Fresh snow looks whiter, prettier.

Bike Boy and I are home sick today. He sounds like someone who has been smoking for 50+ years. I don't sound as bad as he does.

I have been riding the Zing daily, except for yesterday to give my lungs a break. Drop bars are WAY different. I have only been on a road bike with drop bars 2 times before, for very short rides.

The weight on my hands/elbows bothers me a bit. I wonder if I am in a "break-in" period for my hands/wrists/ I just weak in these spots and I will toughen up and be more comfortable or if the levers need some repositioning or maybe am I just not made for drop bars? After about 15 minutes, I have to sit fully upright to rest my hands/wrists to feel ok again. I did rotate the bars up about a 1/4 inch, which helped a little.

1 thing I have noticed about the road bike's lower upper-body positioning is the ability to pedal harder/stronger than in the more upright position of my other bikes. Interesting.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Zing...Again, Moose and Me

The moose are back, they like to eat my lilac bushes.

My Zing, Against a sunset sky

Capt'n Balance made this mini-me mountain biking as a Christmas gift. Yes that is an actual picture of me. As cool as it looks in this pic, it's way cooler in real life. :)

Capt'n Balance and Bike Boy are at our cabin with a big group of guys, it's the annual Superbowl trip. This is the first year Bike Boy has gone. Now he is offically "one of the guys". Ugh. I can just imagine all the "guy" things he is learning.

So on to tommorrow....Superbowl Sunday. I'm not huge into football but I do have a Superbowl pool going on, so I will be watching the game. Only 10 people in the pool, draw number 0-9 and the total of the second digits of both teams school = your number, then you win $50 at half-time, $50 at final score. I drew #9. I hope it's a good game, if I have to watch it, I don't want to watch lousy game. I have to confess, I wouldn't watch it at all if I didn't have $ on it..:)

My Zing

My new beautiful bike.

I picked it up yesterday, it wasn't ready yet so I got to hang out with the bike guy for a few hours while he put it together.

Hours spent hanging out in a bike shop, talking with Bike Guy, watching my bike go from parts to complete, was a good day. Once again, Bike Guy goes above the norm, he is awesome.

I got home, brought the bike into the house, up into the living room so I could stare at it while I cooked myself a steak and play with the bike computer.

The computer has poor instructions. Bike Guy nor I could get the time set, we must have spent close to an hour with it. So I stare at the instuctions, the final step has an arrow to the menu button, then a "u-turn" arrow, which does not point to the menu button. So what does the u-turn arrow mean????

Finally the light goes on, the u-turn means go back to the last arrow and repeat the step or "press this button twice". Sheesh, how about just write "Press, x2" or "press twice". That would be way too easy. So I press it twice, the time is set.

I am going to take it out to my bike shop and put it on the trainer. I have never had a road bike with drop bars and it is a totally different feel. I had riser bars put on my K2 road bike from the start - my hybrid roadie commuting bike. So I'm evolving into a purebreed roadie. Time to get used to the feel of it and learn the shifting.

It's a beautiful day, can't wait until summer!